October would normally be a bad month to talk about German food. The festival with same name has given the German cuisine a reputation of being fatty and greasy. If nothing else, we have preconceptions of unappetisingly gigantic portions. This is all a shame because German food is of course a lot more than bratwurst and schweinshaxe, and drinks-wise, there’s so much more than watered-down lager served in one litre glasses by men in Lederhosen and women in Dirndl. Luckily that is now also becoming apparent on the Stockholm restaurant scene.
The restaurant E & G opened almost a year ago in the same premises that once upon a time housed the hipster restaurant Helsingborg. The location is at the top of Birger Jarlsgatan, and it’s lightyears away from a German beer hall. Instead the walls are lined with natural wine and the tables are made for dating. The menu is fun and full of variety, and among other things includes dishes like ‘Käsespätzle’. We start off with some bread and butter for 35 kronor. A request for the sommelier to recommend something leads to a long story about some German sisters who have taken over their parents’ wine production company. The list is obviously includes Spätburgunder and Blaufränkisch. It’s not hard to find something you like. When it comes to low and non-alcoholic alternatives it’s almost as much fun, with drinks from Swedish cider producer Fruktstereo and Apolinaire. When the teetotal member of our duo requests a simple Coke Zero the restaurant proves its service-mindedness by darting across the street to buy a couple of cans. Our jaws drop when they come back and the first can goes pschht, and if we weren’t sold on the atmosphere already, we sure are now.
The food begins to arrive, first out is a little cacao e pepe-gratin for 100 kronor with a generous dose of black pepper followed by a somewhat sourish turnip with trout roe. All in all a good start to a meal.
Next, the quality in delivery climbs a few notches, with a couple of leaves of lettuce dressed in crème fraiche. A dish so simple on paper, but unexpectedly it’s so perfectly-balanced that we want to copy it at home to eat every day. The hake croquettes are well made too, perfectly crispy and served with an aioli that completes the dish rather than overemphasises the garlic. As a grand finale we feast on a chorizo served on a bed of polenta, it’s good but might not add much to the aforementioned successes. For dessert we have a magic chocolate flavoured with sesame and a glass of port that we neither regret when drinking or the next day. The bill lands at 1,000 kronor for two people, which we consider good value for money. And oh, the name. It just stands for Egon and Gösen, the nicknames of the two owners. Nothing more exotic than that.
E & G, Birger Jarlsgatan 112, eochg.se